INTERVIEW: MiG Ayesa To Star In Local Production
American star MiG Ayesa recently revealed that he will be joining local talent Connell Cruise, Kurt Herman and John Tsenoli in the upcoming theatre production ‘Gone Too Soon: The Gents’. After making a name for himself on the reality show ‘Rockstar: INXS’, MiG has graced stages all around the world and South Africa is next on his list. The production will pay tribute to stars such as Freddie Mercury, George Michael, Michael Jackson, Prince, Marvin Gaye, David Bowie in four shows only at Gold Reef City’s Lyric Theatre from Thursday 4th May – Saturday 6th May. Ahead of the show’s debut, we caught up with the international superstar
You were a finalist in the reality show Rockstar: INXS. What is the most valuable lesson you walked away from the show with?
You must never be afraid to be better, or to learn from others. Oh, and you are never too old to rock!
Where did your passion for music and performing stem from?
When I was a young boy, I had quite a bad stutter. However, whenever I would sing a song or read from a script, my speech impediment disappeared. So playing music was my therapy and my escape from when I was seven years old. Music has been my constant friend ever since. Oh, and also because it was the best place to meet girls.
You’re going to be headlining the upcoming tribute show ‘Gone Too Soon: The Gents’. How did that come about?
I had met Collett Dawson from The CoLab Network in Hong Kong in 2008, while we were touring with We Will Rock You (I was brought in as the lead, Galileo, but performed alongside the South African cast), and have stayed in touch with her ever since. She had been threatening to bring me out to South Africa for years, but it was a chance meeting in New York City last year in October when things all started to fall in place. We lost so many amazing iconic music legends in 2016, so the concept for this show was writing itself, and when we talked about how tragic it was to lose so many of our beloved artists, I could see Collett’s eyes twinkle with the prospect of bringing me out to SA to turn this concept into a reality.
What attracted you to this performance?
Many things really. The chance to perform in South Africa for the first time, working with the likes of Connell Cruise and Kurt Herman and an upcoming star John Tsenoli, as well as the phenomenal creative team from BluBerry Entertainment (Kurt Herman, Tima Reece, Llewellyn George). The depth of material from these artists to whom we are paying homage and my emotional attachment to these artists who we lost far too soon also played a role.
You’ve briefly worked with your co-performers Connell Cruise, Kurt Herman and John Tsenoli. How has the chemistry been so far?
From the short time we’ve spent in the studio, we have become brothers in arms. There is a synchronicity that exists already and it’s like a reunion of like souls. This is going to be an exciting project in many ways. What incredible South African talent I will be sharing the stage with. I can’t wait.
Which musical legends which have passed on have had the biggest influence in your career?
I would have to narrow it down to two artists, and I am so fortunate to have had the chance to pay homage to them already in shows like ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘Thriller Live!’ – Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson. I remember falling in love with everything MJ for as long as I can remember, even buying the Thriller VHS tape so I could learn the choreography from the video. When I saw the ‘Bad’ Tour at Parramatta Stadium in 1987, I was mesmerised by his talent. In fact, ‘Bad’ was the very first CD I ever bought. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was the very first single (on vinyl!) I ever bought with my own money. Queen is my all-time number one band of all time. Yet I must say, Prince and George Michael are not far behind as they too have influenced my music and career in more ways than even I can explain.
Other than this production, what else can we expect from you in 2017?
I am working on a third studio album and I hope to have that completed soon. I have been booked for many gigs and concerts around the world, but I do hope ‘Gone Too Soon: The Gents’ will be just the beginning of my association with the industry here in South Africa. I have fallen in love with this place and I will take every opportunity to come back.